Hi, I have a fabric with a large pattern to make 2 roman blinds that will hang near each other. The fabric is 137cm wide and the finished width of one blind (the wider one) is 138cm. I don't want to add a plain border at the sides. Should I reduce the width of the central panel to make the strips at the side wider? You seem to suggest doing this only with plain fabrics.
Very funny that this question should come in now as I am actually making blinds that are a very similar size without contrast border. The blinds that I am making are outside the recess I have some flexibility in the size.
If yours are inside and have to be the exact width then you will have to add widths either side, there is no getting around this. As to whether or not you should reduce the central panel, this is a personal decision. If you have a small horizontal pattern repeat, then this is a possibility but if not, then having a central panel of less than 120cm might look odd and is not something I would do.
As I am making blinds outside the recess, I am slightly extending the width in order to accommodate the join and give me at least 5cm beyond the join. Sometimes you have to make a judgement call and go with what you think is best.
I have just realised that I have cut my face fabric too short. This is because the ends were not fully straight and then I cut them to make them straight.. and then after realised I didn't add the 5cm cutting allowance :-( .
My Fabric Cut Drop: 140cm + 9cm Hem Allowance + 5cm Heading Allowance.
Since cutting the ends straight I have a length of 151cm. I only have 11cm for hem and heading allowance when it should be 14cm.
Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you, your site is great.
mistakes like this happen so it’s just trying to work out how best to proceed. I would suggest…
Just looking at your measurements, I am not sure why you were originally working with a 9cm hem allowance? You should start with double 8cm (on sill length), giving you 16cm at the bottom and 5cm at the the top.
So, you have left yourself really short on fabric. Your only option is to go for a very shallow hem (leave 4 cm for top allowance and us remainder for bottom hem). I still recommend a double fold as, when light penetrated the curtains, you will be able to see the first shallow fold through the fabric (unless a heavy weave).
You could add a contrast plain fabric along the bottom but this requires more expense and can be quite hard to find the right coordinating fabric.
Good luck with the rest of your project.
Just purchased and watched your videos to make my first blind. They look great and very easy to follow. I've gone to start and found my fabric is shorter (width) than advertised. Am so disappointed. If I leave the selvage on, it will just be wide enough, would this work or do they have to be cut off? Thanks in advance.
No you don't have to cut the selvedge off. If it is pulling the fabric
tight at the edges we sometimes snip it to ease the tension.
Your instructions are brilliant but I have a problem!My check patterned material has a warp to the weave. ie I have cut and measured using lines of the checks so pattern looks straight BUT I find now I do not have right angles in corners. I can either have top and bottom pattern in alignment (horizontal lines) with sides of blind compensating for warp, or side/vertical) pattern parallel and top/bottom squiffy! what do you suggest? I have 3 to make (2 next to each other 46 x 85cm and 3rd 119 x 107cm)all in recess of windows so need to fit properly. Help!
We have mentioned this before in an answer. We would always avoid using a
check pattern for a blind for this very reason. However as you have the
fabric already all we can suggest is that you go for which way you
think looks best and decide now before you spend a lot of time making
the blinds up whether you will be happy enough with them when you are
If it is really bad sometimes the best option is to save the check fabric for another project and select a more suitable fabric .
With Blinds stripes work well, checks do not.
I am making a Roman Blind with symmetrical circles. Should I ensure that I have a full circle at the top of the blind or the bottom. The top will obviously be on show all the time whereas the bottom will only show when it's fully down. What is the correct method? Many thanks
There is no correct method it always comes down to a design decision. We
do exactly as you say though when making a blind. We place the pattern
in the best position at the top of a blind as it will be on show all the
Hi, I am making 4 blinds for a large square bay window. The front window is made up of 4 sections and is 286cms wide by 170 drop. The sides are 90cms wide x 170 drop. I thought about making 2 separate blinds for the front 143cms each. Unfortunately this will mean attaching a small amount of fabric to each blind. I notice that you suggest attaching a strip either side of the blind to balance it, but this doesn't seem logical in my situation. I had thought about using the surplus cut off from the return windows and attaching this to the outer edge of the two windows which would mean the two blinds at the front would be balanced overall. It would also mean I could save on extra widths of fabric. Do you think what I suggest is ok? Or do you feel there is a better alternative. I would prefer not to have 4 blinds across the front as I don't feel this will look as nice as just 2.
I think I have read that the lining should be joined horizontally, not vertically - is this correct?
Wait to hear from you. Many thanks.
This website is so helpful.
You can make the blinds with the join in the fabric however you like, it
will not affect how they work. But as we say in the tutorial if you
need more than one panel, we always make a balanced blind with a centre
panel and equal fabric either side. (we just think it looks better
made). With such a narrow strip on either side if you are using plain
fabric you can always make the centre panel slightly narrower and the
edge strips wider if they really are too narrow.
The lining is joined the same way as the fabric. If you have a wide blind with a short drop (not in this case) you can use the lining sideways to avoid having to make any joins. The other thing that can be a pain with joined lining is the rods getting stuck when you pass them through the lining joins in the rod pockets. You dont have this problem if you use rod pocket tape.
We have 3 blinds going through the workshop at the moment all 143cm wide each with a 127 centre panel and strips either side of 8cm.
Hi, this tutorial is great and I am going to buy the videos soon as I have all the material ready. I have a question: I can't see anywhere on this tutorial how to cut "on grain" the fabric. Cutting on grain pulling the thread is one of the many ways, I tried and sometimes it's very difficult (thread can break easily so I take forever to cut it). DO you have any tricks to suggest? And also: I don;t have a huge table where to cut the fabric: having a big working space does the difference or, with some tricks, it's possible to do it on a regular table (100 x 140). thank you
All the techniques we use for measuring, cutting, and getting the blind
square are shown in the videos. We obviously have a large table in the
workroom with long Tbars, but in the videos we take into account most
people will have to work on a smaller table at home or on the floor. So
we don't just use our big perfectly square table and Tbar to get it
straight, we show you how to do it with the tools you will have.
My fabric is a geometric pattern and if I cut according to the pattern on all 4 sides, the panel is not square, it hangs slightly skewed to one side - by about 1 cm from top to bottom.
As the top is always on show, is it then best to correct the 2 long side edges so it hangs true, and hope the eye does not notice the difference in pattern down the side edges? Thanks.
It is always a real pain when patterns are not straight, especially when
making a blind when you will notice the difference. Have you tried
"moving" the fabric so that is straightens up a bit - this is sometimes
possible with certain fabrics with a lot of give in them. If there is no
give in it, you are going to have to cut the fabric with true right
angles accepting the skew in the pattern, there is no other way round it
with a blind as it has to be straight. Good luck!!
Hi there, I have some beautiful fabric that is heavily patterned and although by sight it looks like the pattern has obvious lines where I could end the blind, when I use the ruler the ends of each set of patterns isn't straight at all. For example part of the pattern is a set of birds so if I set the ruler at the bottom of these it eventually cuts through the third or fourth set of birds horizontally. Any ideas for this? The sides aren't such a problem, well, lets see once I've done the pattern matching!! It's 206cm wide!
Some fabrics have a lot of give in them, you are going to have to lay it out and try to manipulate it.
Love the tutorial – so clear and easy to follow!
I am planning to put a 5cm contrasting linen border on the sides and bottom of my linen roman blind. Can you please give me some advice on the best way to do this?
Very grateful for any pointers you can give me!
Thanks in advance!
You will need to make your fabric panel with the borders joined first,
leaving enough fabric for the side turns, heading and hem. Join the
fabrics with a 1.5 to 2cm seam pressed flat.
The easy way is to join the bottom panel first then, cut down and then add the sides. The other more difficult way involves mitring the corners where the borders meet. The description of how to do that is a bit too involved to write here.
My fabric does not have a straight selvedge, on either side, to measure in from for my first straight edge - how do I get around this please?
If you are following the video for a plain fabric, if the selvedge is
not straight, measure in at the top and bottom and join the points with a
I have a roman blind which is 162cm finished and my fabric is 150cm wide. How do I balance the drops out so I have 2 on each side to make it look balanced? Do I make the middle 137cm but that still doesn't give me much on each side. Any ideas would be appreciated as I want it to look right.
I assume you have plain fabric. We usually go for about 10 to 12cm
strips each side. We lay it out and see what the strips look like and
I have a fabric with a large pattern which runs selvedge to selvedge and the grain is skewed. How do I cut a straight line when the longer length of the blind is not parallel with the selvedge? The blind is 98cm x 232cm.
This a common problem and you have to work with it and do your best. We sometimes pull the corner of the fabric to try
and move the pattern. It can sometimes spring back though so doesn't
always work. The spring back is more of a risk on a blind.
I am making a blind 175cm wide and need to add two side panels to get the width and there is a vertical pattern, I have watched the joining a patterned fabric tutorial and the making up the face fabric videos several times. I am unclear whether I cut away 2cm of selvedge on each edge of fabric being joined or do I just cut into the selvedge and retain them in the seam. Thank you
It depends on how wide the selvedge is and how bulky the fabric is, Some
fabrics have a lot of selvedge others hardly any. Your join will be
where the pattern meets then it is up to you to decide if you need to
trim the excess. If you do trim leave approx 2.5cm each side .
Really helpful instructions thank you; so glad I found you! I can't seem to get a right angle on my fabric, even though I've pulled threads in both directions to ensure I cut along the grain. In this instance, do I go with what the ruler says and cut it slightly on the bias, or stick with the weave? I'd be worried that it won't hang straight if it's off the grain slightly.
Manipulate the fabric as best you can but follow the ruler you need to get the blind square.
I’m making a Roman blind with vertical stripes but the stripes are not completely straight and I need to join extra fabric on at each side do I make the seam following the stripe or should I draw a straight line and follow that?
We've never had this problem, we would prefer the lines on the blind to
go straight rather than the seam as that is what will catch the eye
I have made a few Roman blinds the material I'm using has a set motif when I square tha material the pattern runs of I know it will not hang square if I follow the pattern is there a way to get round this
We try to manipulate the fabric to get the pattern square. One method is to clamp it to the side of the table and pull it from the corner on the
diagonal to bring the pattern up square.
Some fabrics are better than others to manipulate, there is also the potential of the fabric moving back to it's former shape.
I am making the blind with cotton fabric. It is quite heavy - beach huts style! Is it better to wash it and the lining before I cut it out.
Your instructions are very clear
We NEVER wash blinds, they are never the same after in our experience.
So we would not wash the material and lining before hand.
My finished blind will be 174cm wide. I will have a vertical seam either side of the main panel joining the fabric widths together. The fabric width is 139cm so do I only use 17cm (+seams)either side or should I split it more equally?
If you think it would look better no problem. We probably wouldn't
because we find you tend to get a better fabric join at the selvedge
I made a small Roman blind last year following your tutorials which were excellent. I was really delighted with it. I'm now going to make one which is 160cm wide. I know I will need to join a panel on either side of the main panel. Should I cut each side panel to the required with (including seam allowances) before joining or should I join panels and then trim to get the required cut width of fabric? Thank you.
Definately join first then trim down to size afterwards.
Hi , I am making a blind which is 147 wide and 97 drop , just wondered if you have ever made one with the fabric the wrong way round to save joining , it's a plain cream faric . Is this a real no no . Thanks
Yes we've done that before lots of times. Make sure you have enough for
your heading and hem allowances and that you are happy with how the
fabric will look orientated that way.
I've started to have a go at making a Roman blind with contrasting fabric panels as the main fabric width wasn't wide enough. The panels are only 6.5cm (not inc hem).
My problem is that when the blind has lining in, & is hung in the window, then you'll be able to see all the hems. Should I use blackout lining to hide this (didn't really want to though)! Or have a made the side panels wrong. Should they of been double thickness?
Oh, I bag style my Roman blinds as I find slip stitch not strong enough when I make it that way.
Yes you will see the seams in daylight (but the blinds are usually down at night ). We wouldn't use double thickness.
If it really bothers you you will need to insert blackout into the blind to block it.
Firstly, your website is like my sewing bible and is fab!
I'm making a Roman blind which is 114.5" width & the drop 50.5"!!! I know you would normally recommend 2 or 3 smaller ones, but I wanted it to flow by having 1 large blind, plus I like a challenge!
I have squared my 3 widths of fabric & pinned together the pattern match ready to sew. I'm abit lost now though!
When I have sewed the widths together, do I square the blind again(as best as I can as it's soooooo big) or do I not need to as I squared it before joining.
Please help, i'm stuck.
You are going to have to square the whole panel again and get the joins
vertical and straight on your squared panel to stop them looking odd
when the blind is down. With a 3m wide blind that is not very easy and
is why we recommend smaller blinds for the less experienced and those
without very large tables, rulers and T bars.
I am making a roman blind with a spotty pattern on the fabric and the width is 121cm and drop is a wonky from left to right 113.5 / 111cm/ 111cm. I know roman blinds are precise, but do you have any tips on how to make this fit without it looking uneven i.e. my experience is telling me to be even from the top down and then modify at the bottom to accommodate the deepest drop of 113cm. What are your thoughts please? Thank you
We would make it square and horizontal at the bottom.
I am making 3 roman blinds for my kitchen(2) and adjoining utility room. All the windows are different sizes. The kitchen windows are opposite one another. Am I best to make the top section the same size for them all and adjust the width of the folds accordingly or does it not matter?
The 2 in the kitchen, If they are not alongside we would try and get
them as similar as possible, a cm or so will not make much difference
though. We wouldn't necessarily make the utility blind exactly the same
as it is in a different room.
if the fabric is cut too short can you add 9cms to the bottom of the main fabric to create the pocket as the joining seam could be hidden just behind the bottom?
Yes you can add fabric to the bottom. Indeed sometimes we join fabric to
the bottom higher up to create a border at the bottom of the blind.